Food is expensive. Just living in general in a city is very expensive. So as a young gent-about-town, what are you to do when you are short on funds and need to to have a quick bite to eat without having to spend part of your savings? I have looked around to find the best free eats available, and compiled 24 of them for your reference and convenience.
1. Free samples in grocery stores
Sam’s Club, Costco, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s all give free samples away to browsing customers. It’s also easy to dupe with them with an outrageous accent and fake mustache, so you can get at least one more free round depending on how good of a Groucho Marx or Tom Selleck impression you can do.
2. Go on a date with somebody you meet at OkCupid or Tinder and have them buy food for you.
That won’t work for everyone – you have to agree on it ahead of time. But hey, there are some people who like to go against the norms.
3. Complimentary birthday food from a restaurant rewards program
Yes, my name is Consuelo Garcia and it just happens to be my birthday today. I’d like that slice of complimentary birthday cake please.
4. The “good guy” discount
A coworker told me about this one, and he heard it on NPR. Apparently if can appeal to certain clerks or cashier by saying you’re a good guy and know another one when you see one, when you are purchasing their merchandise, that occasionally they will give it to you free, or at a discount at least. Note: This won’t work on a bad guy.
5. Informational meetings hosting by certain religious sects
You don’t have to actually become a Hare Krishna. However, you could at least listen to what they have to say. For the free refreshments.
6. Free cheese and wine from art galleries
For this one you need to dress up, but since you are the complete gentleman, you will be oozing class already, and people will think your tuxedo t shirt is very charming. Do some schoomzing and make a few clever remarks about Kandinsky, and you will soon be offered plenty of Gruyere and Pinot Noir.
7. Free samples of frozen yogurt at self-serve places.
Those sample cups sure are small, but you can of course just knock back one shot after another of the latest and greatest to your heart’s content.
8. Become a freegan
Dumpster diving can bring in all sorts of treasures, like half-eaten donuts and pizza crusts.
9. Mall food court individuals hawking food from trays on toothpicks.
You can’t go more Panda express for a free meal than this.
10. Barbershops that give out free whiskey along with your haircut.
If you happen to have an old-fashioned barber (and it is after noon), he occasionally might provide you with a shot of whiskey along with your haircut. It he does it most likely will be out of his flask that he keeps handy.
11. Street teams that are passing out free samples of energy drinks
Go out to a park or public square during the day, and usually there will be come identically-clothed, cultist, twenty-something-year-old urging you to try out a free sample of their new drink, which is probably called something like Baal’s or Bawlz.
12. Perform a comedy show and totally bomb. This will cause people in the grow to throw tomatoes.
Hey it’s a lot easier than growing them yourself!
13. Mayo/ketchup/mustard packs at delis and hot dog stands
Scoop up an entire armful of ketchup packets and it will give you a day’s worth at least of lycopene. It will make your prostate happy.
14. Have a friend who is a restaurant worker
This one takes some advanced planning. You need to have a friend who is willing to supply you with some free food and drink before anyone notices and they get fired, therefore damaging their employment record forever. Sorry, Joe.
15. Become a mystery shopper
If you decide to become a mystery shopper -where a company hires you to go on a free eating or shopping spree and then report back to them on the service that you receive – you can get lots of freebies this way. Compensation does vary, however many companies use these individuals to help them improve their business. Therefore everybody wins!
16. Reddit’s subreddit called “random acts of pizza” is a place where you might be able to get a free pie
If you really are down on your luck and a pizza could help you get through your day, you can always try appealing to the appeal on Reddit at r/randomactsofpizza and they might arrange for a pizza to be sent to you.
17. Bakeries throwing their excess baked goods away at the end of the day
Whenever bakeries have any leftover baked goods left from that morning’s batch, they tend to either throw them out or give them away free.
18. Your favorite restaurant when it’s having a “free food” promotion
Many places have promotional giveaways of baked good, appetizers, ice cream cones and other things. However, you might have to camp out in front of the restaurant or stand in a long line.
19. Participating in the surveys on the bottom of deli and restaurant receipts
You know those extra miles of receipt paper you sometimes get when you are buying food? There’s a good chance there is a survey there that you can take to get some free merchandise.
20. Dive bars offering free bar snacks, like cheese balls or Goldfish
I recommend that you stay at the bar all day long, while hogging the jukebox to yourself and popping those free snacks.
21. Treat of the month programs such as Godiva’s
I definitely take full advantage of my truffle of the month membership.
22. Forage for wild berries
In urban settings this might not work.